- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: She Writes Press (May 3, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1631520644
- ISBN-13: 978-1631520648
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 49 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,136,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tasa's Song: A Novel Paperback – May 3, 2016
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“Across decades and continents, Tasa follows a song of hope that is uplifting even in the face of great adversity, proving that an indomitable spirit can transcend the greatest hardships. Kass depicts a heartbreaking time with great sensitivity and detail in this beautifully rendered historical drama.”
". . . Kass’s fictional story is compelling and emotionally satisfying for reasons other than the deep relieving trauma so often retold . . . Tasa does not ponder a world where the enemy walks past every window, hides in every shadow, a foe whose wintry breath has the power to ice the heart. Rather, Tasa’s Song is a celebration of the fullness of the human spirit, of the ties of friendship and love, of duty and sacrifice, of trust and conscience, that bind us even when the world around us unravels."
―The Apalachicola Times
“. . . a poignant debut . . . Not only does Kass capably steer the story’s arc through the drama of the traumatic years of the war with appropriate gravitas, but the role she gives to Tasa’s love of music molds beautifully with the somber scenes she portrays. Near the end of the book is a list of all the musical works referenced throughout the story, which gives the reader the opportunity of listening to the selections. The story of Tasa’s Song is also a powerful reminder of all the artists, writers, and other creators of beauty whose passions and irreplaceable talents were cut short or lost because of Hitler’s deranged obsession with power. Tasa turns to her music at good times as well as bad, even though she is forced to play all her most beloved compositions, many of which were banned by the Soviets, in solitary defiance. There is no doubt that World War II stripped the world of its grace and splendor, but Kass, with Tasa’s Song, allows for some of the glory of man to be restored.”
―The Vail Daily (CO)
“A beautifully composed narrative set in eastern Poland during World War II. . .”
“Despite all that Tasa endures, she never gives up, never stops fighting, and never stops hearing the music inside of her. She is definitely a character I won’t soon forget.”
―Diary of an Eccentric
“Linda Kass is an accomplished storyteller. Tasa’s Song captures the human suffering and personal triumphs of those most deeply impacted by World War II and its aftermath. Public library customers will be immediately attached to the novel’s memorable characters."
―Patrick Losinski, Chief Executive Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library
"Tasa’s Song is a story of love and survival. World War II Poland provides the backdrop for this delicately rendered tale of a young woman, her music, and the beauty that persists even in times of great cruelty. Linda Kass writes with a sure and loving hand in this memorable debut novel, one that portrays the strength of the human spirit and how it can rise above the base and ignoble designs of our lesser kind.”
―Lee Martin, author of Turning Bones and The Bright Forever, a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
“Tasa’s Song is a sweeping historical drama about a young Jewish musician growing up in eastern Poland during World War II. As Tasa faces the horrors of the Holocaust with a bow and violin, Linda Kass weaves a sensuous, poetic narrative, both heartbreaking and melodic. It is the kind of book that makes you feel like you are reading by candlelight, no matter where you are, and at times the pages seemed to hum with music. This is a poignant, brave novel that book clubs and readers of all kinds will adore.”
―Matt Bondurant, author of The Night Swimmer, The Wettest County in the World, and The Third Translation
"Tasa's Song is compelling from the first page to the last. A beautiful love story wrapped within a violin’s melody. Inspired by true events from her Jewish family's life in Poland during World War II, Linda Kass has written a lyrical novel of family, love, music, and survival. I cannot wait to put it in the hands of our readers."
―Linda White, owner, Sundog Books
"This is a story of growing up in war, but also of learning to navigate uncertainty and reach into the future for something better without losing hope or the memory of those left behind, many in unmarked graves."
―Savvy Verse & Wit
"Brimming with the sights and sounds of a world gone by, Tasa's Song is razor sharp in its insights, and soaring in its lyric evocation of the past. Tasa herself steps out of history and into the world of unforgettable heroines.”
―Ann Kirschner, author of Sala's Gift and Lady at the OK Corral
"Tasa’s Song is a beautiful ode to all of the light and darkness history has to offer her children. Linda Kass has written a lasting tribute to life during wartime, including the hardships and triumphs that define the true nature of grace and resilience."
―Amber Dermont, author of The New York Times bestseller, The Starboard Sea
“In showing us the transcendence of classical music against the horrors of the Holocaust, Linda Kass has given us a necessary and indispensable volume that details the evil and the beauty we as a species are capable of. Tasa's Song is a hauntingly heavenly melody heard in a darkness most terrifying, a novel at once harrowing and hopeful. I am as beguiled by its artistry as I am bedeviled by its theme.”
―Lee K. Abbott, author of seven collections of short stories, including All Things, All at Once
"Linda Kass’s moving debut novel brings vividly to life a Jewish family’s struggle to survive World War II in eastern Poland, caught between the Nazi threat to the west and the Soviets to the east. Tasa, a gifted violinist, comes of age in the shadow of encroaching war, finding redemption in her music and through deep love despite the horrors that steadily draw near. Meticulously researched, Tasa’s Song illuminates the day-to-day experience of war―the uncertainty and dawning horror, the devastating losses and the small acts of grace.”
―Margot Singer, author of The Pale of Settlement, winner of the 2007 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction
“Tasa’s Song is an intimate, evocative, deeply moving novel of devotion, love, and loss in the face of unspeakable evil. Read it for the powerful story it tells, the lives it honors, and the profoundly important lessons it teaches.”
―Kevin Boyle, author of Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, winner of the 2004 National Book Award for Nonfiction
“I was enthralled with this story and how the author fittingly wove different classical pieces into her story . . .Tasa summons the music in her head when she needs it or when something reminds her of it: the sound of wind blowing through the trees, birds chirping, certain smells of the home she longs for, people she’s lost, others she’s found . . .Tasa’s Song is a beautiful story of love and loss, strength, uncertainty, and the sustaining power that music can have through it all. I love a descriptive story and Kass has done a marvelous job describing the way the music sounds, feels, and even looks . . . I highly recommend this book to all and I will certainly purchase this book when it’s released and read it again!”
―For The Love of Literature
About the Author
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Kass’ beautifully written story, inspired by her mother’s life and how she came to America, describes the intensity of the sudden invasion of Poland by Russia, making everyday life a challenge because of the changes in government that the Russians forced upon the Poles. When the Nazis drove the Russian occupation back, and started rounding up the Jews to be taken away, Tasa’s family hid underneath a friend’s barn, away from the light of day for an extended period of time. This is a story filled with loss, love, and the grace it takes to keep going in a shattered world.
What is most engaging about this story is how Kass, weaves in the music that Tasa, an aspiring violinist, always carries with her in her head. Through her constant moves and the unending months when she cannot play her violin for fear that any sound she makes could give away her family’s hiding place, it sings in her heart.
Using exquisite lyrical narrative, Kass explores the way a life filled with music can bring us through life threatening adversity, helping the human spirit to shine and endure. Filled with detailed descriptions of daily life in war-torn Poland, this book should not be missed.
Based on the broad outline of her mother's young life, the author, Linda Kass, creates a world for the reader that is long gone but its humanity, thankfully, not forgotten. Tender portraits are drawn of teenagers and first love caught in the cross hairs of a world gone mad. Hope is never completely diminished and is brought forth from various sources: ordinary people whose commonly shared ethics remain intact despite external threats; the power of music; and the sheer will to survive.
The book was well researched to share with the reader places, sounds, tastes and a time almost within the reach for many of us, but, alas, are no more. No one who is touched by these events leaves unscathed: the testament to this book is that in the end we feel not only a sense of deep loss but also the certainty that life will be renewed.